This program is offered for those desiring advanced training beyond the Master of Divinity level. The Th.M. is designed for those who want specialized biblical training for pastoral ministry and for those, such as teachers, whose calling requires advanced academic work, including those planning to do Ph.D. work.
The student entering this program must demonstrate superior ability and maturity and must have earned a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from a recognized seminary. A 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) must have been achieved in Master of Divinity work. (A rare exception may be granted by the faculty in case of extremely mitigating circumstances.) Graduates of DBTS who apply for the Th.M. program should fill out a special application form. Those new to the Seminary must go through the normal application procedure.
Transfer of Credits
Up to six semester hours of credit may be transferred from an acceptable postgraduate program elsewhere.
The Th.M. may be completed in residence or through distance education*, where students can join classes live using video conferencing software.
Each student enrolled in the Master of Theology Program is required to take at least two postgraduate seminars (maximum of four) during the resident training. DBTS offers Th.M. seminars in four disciplines: Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, and Historical Theology. Each seminar covers a specific area of contemporary relevance within the general discipline. Seminars are offered once each semester on a rotating basis at the option of the Dean. Recent seminars have included:
The Th.M. consists of 26 semester hours of postgraduate work. A major may be completed in the field of Old Testament, New Testament, or Theology. The Th.M. curriculum consists of six three-hour content courses, including two postgraduate seminars. Each student must also complete a three-hour reading and research course, and a five-hour capstone project. Students who have not taken their systematic theology at DBTS must take at least two of the three systematic courses.
The Th.M. project must demonstrate the student’s competence in critical thinking, original research, and proper literary style. It must also show that he has an acceptable understanding of his subject and must be in basic agreement with the doctrinal position of the Seminary. The project must be completed within two years from the finishing of all course work. Students can choose from three options…
- A research thesis of approximately 70 to 100 pages in length
- A ministry research project of approximately 70 to 100 pages in length, focused on the student’s specific ministry context or interest
- An approved article published in a peer-reviewed academic journal
The Dean will appoint two faculty members as a Th.M. committee for each student: a chairman and an advisor/second reader. The Dean serves as an ex officio member of all such committees. A student must file a prospectus with his chairman by November 1 of the school year in which he expects to graduate. The first two chapters are due by January 5, a first draft by March 15, and a final draft by May 1. A total of five credit hours is given for the acceptable completion of the capstone project.
Grade Point Average
A student must achieve a minimum 3.00 grade point average on all course work and thesis in order to graduate.
*Availability of the distance Th.M. may vary depending on one’s state of residence. Please contact the seminary office to see if this is an option for you.